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Two year anniversary of first COVID case in Wayne County

As Wayne County goes over 10,000 COVID cases, Wayne Memorial Health officials look back over what they've learned during the pandemic.

HONESDALE, Pa. — It was two years ago that COVID first appeared in our area; a positive case in Wayne County. 

Dr. James Cruse is the Chief Medical Officer for Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers. He didn't expect that case to be the first of many to overwhelm the hospital in the early months.

"Simply the number of people admitted to the hospital delayed admissions for other things. People been waiting in the waiting room for hours sending people home you normally would admit to the hospital because you didn't have any hospital beds. I think that was one of the biggest things we saw here," said Dr. Cruse.

Dr. Cruse says there have been many challenges since then: testing, vaccines, and a lot of misinformation. But, some good things came out of those challenges.

"The move to more telehealth and to more innovative ways of delivering health care, I think is really beneficial. And during this process, we started a telehealth program I guess a nurse mediated telehealth program where we send an RN out to the home."

Despite the fact that it's been two years since the first case of COVID in Wayne County, Dr. Cruse says they're not ready to declare victory on the pandemic just yet. 

As they're still concerned about the number of cases currently.

"We're still not low and I think people forget that because we came off with such a brutal such a high peak that it feels like 'Oh, it's over,' but it's not really we're still seeing cases. We are still seeing deaths from COVID. They're a lot better than they were a month or two ago but there's it's still really occurring."

Dr. Cruse anticipates new strains that could cause another spike and, just like all of us, he hopes the pandemic comes to an end soon so we aren't marking anymore pandemic anniversaries.

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